Turkey’s Foreign Ministry criticized the illegal interception of a Libya-bound Turkish vessel during the Operation Irini in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Spokesperson of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Hami Aksoy, had made a statement in response to the issue:
“Operation Irini, conducted by the EU, is an operation the purpose and benefits of which are questionable. Yesterday (22 November) during morning hours, the German warship “Hamburg”, as part of this operation, hailed and interrogated in detail the Turkish-flagged commercial vessel “M/V Roseline A”, which was transporting paint, paint-related material and humanitarian aid from the Port of Ambarlı to Misrata. The master of the commercial vessel acted cooperatively and shared detailed information on the cargo of the vessel and her route. Nevertheless, at 17:45, armed elements of Operation Irini boarded the vessel and conducted a lengthy “inspection” for hours. All crew members, including the shipmaster, were forcibly searched, gathered and confined in a single location, the containers were searched by use of force, while the shipmaster was placed under the custody of an armed serviceman.
This intervention was conducted without the consent of either Turkey, as the flag state, or the master of the vessel. In spite of the declaration of the shipmaster regarding the nature of the cargo, the intervention was launched upon vague suspicion and lasted until after midnight and was only terminated upon persistent objections of Turkey. The armed personnel continued to remain on board and left the commercial vessel at 09:38 in the morning.”